PVC Insulated Cables: Facts and Pieces, Why They Need to Be Recycled

Blog | October 11th, 2018

The most innocuous household materials can oftentimes be hazardous when they’re exposed to the right conditions. PVC insulated cables, for example, are used all over the home, because they protect occupants from dangerous electrical currents. Unfortunately, PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) cabling, although harmless when stable, can produce noxious compounds when other circumstances impact that normally stable form. Controlled fires, a home recycler’s solution, will most definitely release those health-endangering fumes.

Don’t Burn PVC Cables

Just as a clue, that last chemical element implies danger. Chlorine causes respiratory ailments. In its gaseous form, chlorine was even used during World War 1 as a chemical weapon. When PVC combusts, clouds of Hydrogen Chloride (HCL) and toxic dioxins are discharged from burning coils of PVC cabling. Don’t burn the insulated cables, they’ll produce toxic gases.

Core Conductor Recycling

Is PVC insulated wiring a going concern? Is this a project that every recycling company covets? Put simply, yes, this recycling work is sought after by recycling agencies because copper is a valuable commodity. The metal is commonly used as a conductor, underneath the insulating sheath, so an efficient PVC recycling strategy not only gets rid of this hazardous polymer and its emissions, it also frees up the valuable orange-brown metal underneath.

A Brief Case Study

Metal theft has become a problem. In some streets, every street lamp is dark because thieves have pulled the PVC sheathed copper wires out of their posts and cut away the insulation. Leaving that insulation to clog drains, the thieves steal the copper wiring. Unaware of the risks, some of those copper bandits die because they’re exposed to life-threatening electrical shocks. Copper recycling is a job best left to the recycling professionals.

Properly Recycling The Two Components

Talking of the professionals, they know how to separate the copper and safely process the PVC. They work on household cable, on armoured underground wiring, and all of the potentially live products that fall between those two primary categories. Safely killing the current, dismantling the cabling, and splitting the copper from the PVC insulation, an ace recycling service gets the job done right.

Done amateurishly, this venture carries obvious risks. Done by experts, the work is safely and speedily executed. Massive insulation stripping machines and copper granulators split the two cabling constituents. The polymer is ground down, melted, then recycled. As for the copper, the alloy can easily be sold for reuse in the electrical sector. At the end of the day, though, there are no emissions, no respiratory hazards, and no toxic clouds to worry about when PVC insulated cables are recycled correctly.